Today's date:
Summer 1998

Echoes of the Javanese Dictator

Pramoedya Ananta Toer has been called Indonesia's greatest writer by the New York Times. He is best known for the Burn Quartet, a narrative of the birth of Indonesian nationalism, composed when he was imprisoned on the island of Buru for 10 years by Suharto. His latest work in English, published by William Morrow in 1996, is The House of Glass, the final volume of the quartet.

Jakarta - The Javanese dictator, Suharto, was at last forced to step down, leaving Indonesia in the worst economic-monetary crisis since the proclamation of the republic. But the moment he left, I knew that no substantial change in the Indonesian political situation was to follow. His "new order" stands intact even without Suharto. All his supporters, and all the institutions he set up, remain firmly in place behind the visage of Mr. Habibie, the new president.

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